Acceptance of the King James Version
The King James version of the Bible was a revision of prior English translations. In their preface, the scholars who were charged to make this revision show that they were fully aware that their work would encounter strong opposition:
“Zeale to promote the common good…findeth but cold intertainment in the world.…Many mens mouths have bene open a good while (and yet are not stopped) with speeches about the Translation so long in hand, or rather perusals of Translations made before: and aske what may be the reason, what the necessitie of the employment: Hath the Church bene deceived, say they, all this while?… Was their Translation good before? Why doe they now mend it? Was it not good? Why then was it obtruded to the people?”
For eighty years after its publication in 1611, the King James version endured bitter attacks. It was denounced as theologically unsound and ecclesiastically biased, as truckling to the king and unduly deferring to his belief in witchcraft, as untrue to the Hebrew text and relying too much on the Septuagint. The personal integrity of the translators was impugned. Among other things, they were accused of ‘blasphemy’, ‘most damnable corruptions’, ‘intolerable deceit’, and ‘vile imposture’, the critic who used these epithets being careful to say that they were not ‘the dictates of passion, but the just resentment of a zealous mind’.